Things to Do and See in and Around Scottsdale

There is never a shortage of things going on in and around Scottsdale. Here are a few ideas for places to go, things to do and places to eat.

Local Dining Ideas:

Scottsdale is known for its great dining scene. Here are a few recommendations around the North Scottsdale area. 

  • Zinc Bistro - Wonderful French bistro in the Kierland shopping center.
  • Mastros Ocean Club - This high-end steak and seafood restaurant in Kierland continues to impress each time. 
  • Shake Shack - The famous burger chain opened a location in Kierland Commons.
  • Pure Sushi - Great sushi can be found at Pure. Be sure to try the Box Sushi. Open for lunch and dinner.
  • Eddie V's - This upscale seafood restaurant has been thriving for many years. It is located in the Scottsdale Quarter shopping center.
  • True Food Kitchen - Looking for healthy, but satisfying food? True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale Quarter is the perfect place. It also has a juice/smoothie bar attached called Juby True
  • Harold's  - Harold's in Cave Creek is a casual dining restaurant that is great for sports watching, grabbing a drink, learning the two-step and people watching. 
  • Spiga Italian - Another good Italian option in North Scottsdale with a large patio for al fresco dining. 
  • Brix Wine Bar - This small wine bar in Carefree is also a wine shop.

Ideas for Shopping:

Far North Scottsdale/Carefree/Cave Creek

  • Carefree Town Center - Enjoy lovely art and boutiques and wonderful dining when you visit the town of Carefree. In addition to lots of Native American and Southwestern art, there is also a charming tea salon with a retail area.
  • El Pedregal - High-end boutiques and galleries as well as dining just south of The Boulders Resort.
  • Downtown Cave Creek - Channel your inner cowboy and cowgirl and shop downtown Cave Creek. It offers an eclectic and fun variety of stores and Southwestern art and furniture. 

North Scottsdale/Central Scottsdale Shopping 

  • Kierland Commons - Charming open-air mall with many shopping and dining options. Retailers include Sur le Table, Barnes and Noble, Crate and Barrel, Banana Republic and many more.
  • Scottsdale Quarter - Newer open-air mall with major retailers like Apple, Restoration Hardware and The Gap as well as many dining and entertainment options, including the iPic Theater.
  • Desert Ridge Marketplace - Over 1.2 million square feet of retail in North Phoenix, including Old Navy, DSW Shoe Warehouse, and more, and dining and entertainment options.

Downtown/ Old Town Scottsdale


Culture and Entertainment:

  • The Musical Instrument Museum - A one-of-a-kind facility in North Phoenix  that highlights music, instruments and musicians from all over the world.
  • Taliesin West - The Western home of Frank Lloyd Wright. An architectural masterpiece.
  • Heard Museum - Features spectacular Southwestern art.
  • Phoenix Art Museum - Over 17,000 works of art from all over the globe.
  • Desert Botanical Garden - Learn about desert flora and fauna as well see unique exhibits. The also have year-round events like live music in the garden and more.
  • Phoenix Zoo - Come see and learn about animals from all over the world. A monkey exhibit allows you to get up close to squirrel monkeys as they frolic in their enclosure. A newer splash pad area leads to a lot of family fun.
  • Butterfly Wonderland -  Get up close and personal with thousands of butterflies at Butterfly Wonderland.
  • OdySea Aquarium - This brand new aquarium is spectacular. Over 10,000 sea animals live there. The facility has touch tanks and a 3-D movie as well. Entry is timed, so you will want to buy tickets in advance.

Sports and Outdoor Pursuits:

  • Hike Pinnacle Peak - Challenge yourself by hiking Pinnacle Peak and enjoy the majestic views from the top. 
  • Mc Dowell Sonoran Preserve - With almost 28,000 acres and 100 miles of trails, the Mc Dowell Sonoran Preserve has an experience for everyone. Walk, hike, bike or horseback ride through the preserve. 
  • Hike Camelback Mountain - Get a workout hiking Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, one of the most iconic locations in the Valley.
  • Golf  - There are dozens of excellent public courses for golfers to enjoy all over the area, like Grayhawk, Troon North and TPC . 
  • Desert Jeep Tours - Want to see the desert up close and learn more? Take a fun jeep tour and explore the area. 
  • Hot Air Balloon Adventure - Take a hot air balloon ride at dawn or sunset and experience the beauty of the desert terrain. 
  • Trail Rides - Close-by MacDonald's Ranch offers group trail rides in the day or you can even book moonlight trail rides.


Scottsdale Second Home and Relocation Guide:

  • This 70+ page guide includes tons of information about living in Scottsdale as well as options for relocating here or owning a vacation homeDownload the Guide here


Visitor Information:


Fun Day Trips:

All of these cities and towns can be accessed within a couple of hours from Scottsdale. Do a day trip, or extend your stay and explore the area.

  • Tucson
  • Sedona
  • Flagstaff
  • Payson
  • Prescott

Have Questions or Want Other Suggestions? 

Contact Us! We are happy to share. 

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